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Camelback Snowtubing Report - 11/24/2017

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Camelback Snowtubing Report - 11/24/2017

Still high from the adrenaline rush of skiing 800 feet at Blue on Black Friday, I decided to head north to Camelback to check out galactic snowtubing, and maybe at last get some use out of my Hero level Season Pass, which is losing its functionality due to lack of use. I've always wanted to experience galactic snowtubing at the largest snowtubing park in the USA, so my dream was finally going to be realized.

I left Blue around 2 pm and headed up the Little Gap Road, eventually coming to Bartonsville, where I ate lunch and dinner at the same time at East Gourmet Buffet. On a pow day, it's crucial to time this meal right in order to minimize expenses and avoid the dreaded lunch leftovers. Always arrive at East Gourmet Buffet before 3:30 pm and you'll save $4.60 while still getting a decent buffet. Make sure you fill up like a boa constrictor on oysters and white rice, and eat as much as your stomach can hold, or else you'll be forced to pay $5.99 for one hot dog at The Thirsty Camel.

After eating, I pulled off the Tannersville exit and could finally see the eastern side of the mountain come into view. The ski trails were pitifully bare with nary a snowflake to be seen on Cliffhanger or Nile Mile. But the snowtubing area was stockpiled with piles and piles of fresh snow that will last until April or maybe even May. I eagerly dressed into my snowtubing attire, complete with wireless bluetooth speaker to annoy all galactic tubers, and GoPro Hero+ (with retention strap) to record every precious moment, and hit the mountain.

The magic carpet ride was exhilarating and much better than sitting on a dumb old ski lift. The snowtubing lanes were groomed to perfection with fresh corduroy. I got to experience decent First Trax, but the crowds ruined all the fresh powder by the third run.

The line moved pretty quickly at first, but from the lofty height of the snowtubing hill, I could see the Jersey plated vehicles pouring into the parking lot. Many guidos were weary from early morning Black Friday shopping at the Outlets, but their kids were still full of energy and thoroughly excited for the galactic tubing adventures to come.

By run 4, the mind numbing boredom was quickly setting in. My max speed had decreased from 15.7 mph to a paltry 15.6 mph. These speeds were downright pitiful after hitting an exhilarating 44.0 mph on Lower Main Street earlier. With each tubing run, however, the lanes became slower, and the Jersey accents were giving me a migraine. After one final, long, excruciatingly boring wait in line, I hit run 5 at 15.5 mph and decided to call it a day.

Overall, galactic snowtubing was a let down after a great day of skiing at Blue Mountain. Even more disappointment set in as I realized that I'll have to wait until next Friday to try galactic snowtubing again, since season passholders are prohibited from galactic snowtubing on Saturdays or Sundays. Having spent my entire allowance on the Camelback Season Pass, and my remaining $29 on Blue, I am now out of money and will be stuck at home all weekend long while all other PASRs are enjoying skiing a genuine black diamond at Blue. While these great folks offered me their buddy passes, I will wait until more trails are open at Blue so I can experience the whole mountain in its entirety and make the tough decision in February of whether I want to finally ditch Camelback (the answer is yes).

 

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Thanks guys. Shawnee is opening tomorrow, and Camelback is not. SHAWNEE!!!  This is 100% legit, check their website:

Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA – Thanks to some aggressive snowmaking, Shawnee Mountain will open for early season skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing this weekend, November 25 & 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Five trails will be open, including: Hiawatha, Blue Mountain, Greenhouse Slope, Little Chief and top to bottom on the 5,000’ Pennsylvania Trail. Two to three lifts will operate, including the beginner-friendly Little Chief Double Chairlift and the Tomahawk Express Quad Lift. Ski and snowboard rentals, group/private lessons and beginner’s packages will all be available.

Edited by saltyant

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Cool. I will hit Shawnee with kids tomorrow. Fine for a mellow first day of the season for them and will be less crowded and perhaps less skied off than Blue. And having skied the same route at Blue 9x skiing something else tomorrow will provide a little variety. Plus they have a high speed lift open.

Edited by Ski2Live Live2Ski

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9 hours ago, Ski2Live Live2Ski said:

Cool. I will hit Shawnee with kids tomorrow. Fine for a mellow first day of the season for them and will be less crowded and perhaps less skied off than Blue. And having skied the same route at Blue 9x skiing something else tomorrow will provide a little variety. Plus they have a high speed lift open.

Let us know how Shawnee is today. I always have a great time there and like the trail layout. Plus, the high speed lift is a fantastic bonus. I'll wait for at least a blue or black trail to open, since I think only greens are open.

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Zero lines or crowds at Shawnee. Soft snow. One beginner TTB trail is fine for first day on skis this year for my girls. Turning to mashed potatoes as day goes on. No bare spots but coverage is not deep so it is questionable how good it will be tomorrow. But probably the right call for today.

 

Taking a break after 8 runs, heading out for a few more.

Edited by Ski2Live Live2Ski
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1 hour ago, Ski2Live Live2Ski said:

Zero lines or crowds at Shawnee. Soft snow. One beginner TTB trail is fine for first day on skis this year for my girls. Turning to mashed potatoes as day goes on. No bare spots but coverage is not deep so it is questionable how good it will be tomorrow. But probably the right call for today.

 

Taking a break after 8 runs, heading out for a few more.

Way to get after it. Couldn't have asked for better weather last two days. And again great report SaltyAnt

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3 hours ago, Ski2Live Live2Ski said:

Zero lines or crowds at Shawnee. Soft snow. One beginner TTB trail is fine for first day on skis this year for my girls. Turning to mashed potatoes as day goes on. No bare spots but coverage is not deep so it is questionable how good it will be tomorrow. But probably the right call for today.

 

Taking a break after 8 runs, heading out for a few more.

Thanks. Considering going tomorrow for a few runs. Its supposed to be colder with a high of only 39. 

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2 hours ago, saltyant said:

Thanks. Considering going tomorrow for a few runs. Its supposed to be colder with a high of only 39. 

Salty, don't miss that sale on lift tickets Blue is running right now until Monday. You can pick up a midweek for $29 or weekend for $39 and hang onto it for later in the season.

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1 hour ago, enjoralas said:

Salty, don't miss that sale on lift tickets Blue is running right now until Monday. You can pick up a midweek for $29 or weekend for $39 and hang onto it for later in the season.

Thanks, I didn't realize these were on sale. I only saw the triple ticket deal. I'll pick up a midweek and take a day off of work later this season to see how I like this place. Got a good impression yesterday, but need to test the whole place out to see how it compares to CB.

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3 minutes ago, saltyant said:

Thanks, I didn't realize these were on sale. I only saw the triple ticket deal. I'll pick up a midweek and take a day off of work later this season to see how I like this place. Got a good impression yesterday, but need to test the whole place out to see how it compares to CB.

Yeah, it was a little confusing there for awhile, they made it sound like it was the Black friday weekend special price FOR Black Friday weekend, but their latest post clarified that the can be used all season.

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7 hours ago, Ski2Live Live2Ski said:

Zero lines or crowds at Shawnee. Soft snow. One beginner TTB trail is fine for first day on skis this year for my girls. Turning to mashed potatoes as day goes on. No bare spots but coverage is not deep so it is questionable how good it will be tomorrow. But probably the right call for today.

 

Taking a break after 8 runs, heading out for a few more.

How much were lift tickets @ Shawnee? The website says $65 which is abhorrent for one actual trail being open. The non-refundable rate is $31, but I only have 4 more hours to decide and I'm not sure I want to commit yet...

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22 minutes ago, saltyant said:

How much were lift tickets @ Shawnee? The website says $65 which is abhorrent for one actual trail being open. The non-refundable rate is $31, but I only have 4 more hours to decide and I'm not sure I want to commit yet...

Their Facebook post said mid-week rates were in effect, which would be $55. Can't believe their charging that much for what they have open, but then again, at least they're open. 

Heck, a return to Blue tomorrow would only be $39, and surely the one route open there is better than the one green at Shawnee.

I bet you could even buy a $40 giftcard with the 20% off promo, pay $32 for it, then turn around and buy the lift ticket with it.

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16 minutes ago, enjoralas said:

Heck, a return to Blue tomorrow would only be $39, and surely the one route open there is better than the one green at Shawnee.

Yeah, I'm not paying $55 to ski one green, and Liftopia is a hassle. I have to sign in, put in my credit card number, go all the way to the printer, turn it on, plug in the USB, bring up the PDF, find a sheet of printer paper, hit print, watch it be stuck in the print queue for 5 minutes, delete job, repeat at least 10x, curse, restart printer, smash printer, finally get printout, and then forget printout at home.

I had a good time at Blue, but I thought Midway was too icy. It became a little dicey especially with all the people. Almost had a mid-air collision with a gaper who should have stuck to Vista. Think I'll just bike tomorrow and see what's going on next weekend. In the meantime, I'll pick up a $29 midweek ticket.

 

Edited by saltyant

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1 hour ago, Ski2Live Live2Ski said:

Paid $30 for Shawnee lift ticket via online ordering on their website which was processed via liftopia, then my 2 kids skied free with their PA Ski passports. So $10/person.

How was it??  You were up late!!!

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More like woke up in the middle of the night because I went to bed at 9. 

Conditions were good on the open trail, softish at the start mashed potatoes by the end. No bare spots and wide enough if not tree to tree. No excitement, but a better first day for the kids for the season than I thought they would have had at Blue where they may have found Midway a bit rough and kept us riding the Vista list after one run down that. 

 

A good confidence boosting start to their season, and I could see them get better as the day progressed. One of them lapsed into pizza on the first run but both were doing confident turns on french fries by the end and hitting all the side whoop de doos by the end. Take the girls for something more challenging in 2 weeks, weather permitting.

Edited by Ski2Live Live2Ski

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